As you are aware the number of accidents on road is unfortunately increasing exponentially, despite the fact that the relevant authorities are putting up all efforts to attenuate them. All the measures taken so far have unfortunately not made any great impact. The current driving test for a driver’s license make provision only for assessing the practical skills. Just testing somebody to move backward, forward or park a car does not make the person a competent driver. What is lacking in the system, is continuous assessment about driving education.
It is high time that the authorities think about the introduction of driving education assessment for possessing and maintaining a driving license. Providing information about road safety is not enough. There is need to have an assessment about driving education which must include driving behaviour, defensive driving and other road safety issues inter alia. A driving education test should be made mandatory to all drivers to new as well as current ones and should be made renewable every five years. Since the number of vehicles keep on increasing and the road infrastructure is itself changing, providing a permanent driving license for life is not helping. Whist it will be useless to test the practical skills of drivers again and again, driving education test should be treated as continuous professional development for drivers and its assessment should be renewed for drivers to maintain their driving license. Online test may even be considrered to test driver’s education.
Legislation must be changed to make provision for the introduction of driving education test for the granting of a driver’s license and should be a requirement for maintain the license. When drivers are continuously assessed for their driving education, their behaviour on roads will surely change and this will definitely make a positive impact on the reduction of road accidents. Continuing with the traditional campaign of advertisement on billboards and media “Kifer nou pas comporte nou bien lors chemin” is good but have limited impact on drivers. If we sincerely want to reduce careless driving and improve drivers’ behaviour on roads, continuous assessment of driver’s education need to be a requirement for a driving license.
Note : Sent to The Director of Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit
Par Dr Abdool Qaiyum Mohabuth
University of Mauritius